Friday, November 25, 2005


I'm still working on Mel's poncho. I started the 4th and last section yesterday in the car on our way to Wisconsin, but still have a ways to go before Sunday when she goes back to Iowa--and it's her Birthday. It's the only craft I've worked on for the last week--when I realized it had to be finished NOW--except for the ornament I made at my AAUW Craft Group on Tuesday night. And, of course, I've worked every day this week (except Thanksgiving) and I will work all weekend, too. Nutcracker is Saturday night.

Saturday, November 12, 2005


I finally started Melanie's Poncho using the same pattern as Thea's, only in turquoise and larger. At the moment, tho, I'm frustrated because I've ripped out at least 8 rows because the number of stitches was wrong and the yarn-over rows had to be ripped out completely--several times already (AAARRRGGGHHH!). I' am still going to try to have it done by Thanksgiving for her birthday--they'll be coming here for that holiday.

I'm coming along on the small "Autumn Sampler" and Jean's afghan, bit by bit. I've added the "Turkish Afghan" to my current projects, in rotation, also having ripped out 6 rows because I thought the "intarsia" stripe looked wrong--did it again and it looks much the same; oh, well. I tried a small circle-type flower pattern on the white afghan and like the way it looks; I'll use it for the small half-triangle sections, at least.

Recently I've finished Beth Ciotta's Charmed(a sequel to Jinxed), a cute and funny contemporary, Elizabeth Peters'The Camelot Caper, on audio download from Overdrive (I read it many years ago and it's still silly and funny), Margaret Maron's Rituals of the Season, another good cozy mystery about Judge Deborah Knott, and Susan Elizabeth Phillips'Match Me If You Can, a very funny, very romantic story set in our own North-side Chicago.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005


This year's pumpkin:

For the last two days I have been untangling a huge mess of yarn that has been around for years. I was trying to see if there was some yarn for a poncho and decided to sort the whole thing--it originally filled a large garbage bag.

This shows less than half of the original tangle

Yhis is a closup of the mess

Most of it was short pieces or remains of skeins. I was surprised that I had so many ends left from the weaving projects I had done in the early 70's!!--pearl cotton, warp thread, and the fingering yarn from Bridget's baby blanket. I had recently pulled out enough long pieces of the turquoise fingering yarn to make a Barbie sweater,

The sweater is from Knits for Barbie

Closeup of sweater; the little shorts were made using the small amount of brown yarn left from the afghan

but now all that's left is many pieces measuring only 2 to 6 inches. Now all that yarn is "sorted" into the pearl cotton ends, the string-ish ends, the fingering yarn ends, cotton rug yarn bits, needlepoint yarn, < 50-inch pieces (to be tied onto others in a ball for a future scrap afghan), > 50-inch to c. 60-inch pieces (to be made into "flower" centers for a future scrap afghan). Anything longer was rolled into balls and put into the boxes I have with yarn sorted by colors. The "bag" is now much smaller and neater, not trailing bits of yarn that fall out.

In looking for poncho yarn, I also decided that I'd better check that any yarn I found wasn't already "committed" to another project. So, I looked in my "partially done" box and pulled out the part of a "Turkish Afghan"

(from a Family Circle Great Ideas Fashions and Crafts, July, 1986) I had last worked on in 1997 (!), before The Fire. Sure enough, one of the colors I was thinking of using was one especially bought for that afghan. I then dug through everything again and pulled out all the yarn I had for it; only two colors could not be found, and they were small amounts that I can substitute without a problem. Another project to work on!

There is an additional on-going project I've started. This summer, I knit an all-white afghan--made up of triangles, mostly done on our trip to Seattle--that was supposed to have flowers embroidered on it. Fair time came, and I ran out of time, so no embroidery got done and I entered it "plain" (and still got a 3rd). The original design was too heavy for what I had (I had used larger needles and acrylic yarn instead of wool), so I started to look for duplicate stitch patterns. I've found some that might work, but I'm still testing and learning the technique.

Michaels has a sale on embroidery floss this week, so I did pick up the remaining skeins I need for the "Autumn Sampler"--a lovely array of Fall colors when seen together. These seasonal samplers are very small--around 3" x 5"--and done on 18-count aida; the original design calls for 36-count linen but I couldn't find any and I had enough of the 18-count for all 4 seasons.

I recently finished Donna Andrews" Crouching Buzzard, Leaping Loon, the next Meg Lansdowne mystery--a fun look at murder in a computer game development office. I also just finished Ellis Peters' The Knocker on Death's Door, an Inspector Felse mystery written in 1970. It was good, but dated, and the murderer was kind of obvious. I like this series, though, even if only a few volumes are in print.